Aug 13, 2010

Code Emails For Social Sharing, Not Just Inbox Readability

Images shared on Facebook as viewed in Flipboard

Images shared on Facebook as viewed in Flipboard

Mashable reports that 75% of the news consumed online is shared from social networking sites or email. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to code your emails for social sharing, not just readability in the inbox.

Still not convinced? NPR recently surveyed its 1 million plus Facebook fans to ask the question: Do people really use their social network to get news? Out of more than 40,000 responses to the survey, 74.6% said that Facebook was a major way in which they received news and information from NPR, and 72.3% said they “expect” their friends to share links to interesting information and news stories with them online.

The iPad is becoming an increasingly common information consumption device, and apps like Flipboard, Friendly and Pulse News Reader are leading the way in making easier and more interesting to engage with news from in and around your social networks.

Flipboard is an iPad application that allows you to create your own personalized social media magazine from your Twitter and Facebook feeds, plus other curated sources. From their app store description:

Flipboard is the world’s first social magazine. Your Flipboard is a fast, beautiful way to flip through news, photos and updates your friends are sharing on Facebook and Twitter. And it’s an incredible place to discover fresh content from around the Twittersphere.

flipboard-contents-page

Flipboard’s Contents page (above) is created from my personal Twitter and Facebook feeds, in addition to other sources.

Next, check out Friendly (below). It’s a Facebook browser for iPad.

Did you know that you actually have the ability to control the thumbnail image that appears when someone shares your campaign via MailChimp? Plan accordingly by making sure you code your emails for Facebook.

facebook-newsfeed-shared-via-email

shared MailChimp campaigns in News Feed

Louis Gray has written a nice review of Friendly in which he makes a convincing argument that the app’s $4.99 price tag is worth it for those looking for an uncompromising, nearly native Facebook experience for iPad. (Facebook has yet to launch a native iPad client.)

As you can expect, thanks to the nature of the product, Friendly brings all the major elements of Facebook directly to the iPad, including browsing the news feed, full of updates from your friends, and enabling you to take actions on those items, or update your own status. The application is delivered in a very clean way, with tabs for "Live Feed", "Events" and outstanding "Requests".

–Louis Gray

chop-shop-shared-email

MailChimp campaign archive viewed in Friendly's browser

Interestingly enough, just yesterday Facebook announced that it’s launching a new version of it’s SDK for iOS. The new SDK (software development kit) gives iPhone, iPad and iPod touch developers easier access to Facebook’s Open Graph API, including the Like button and other social plugins. The new SDK should also encourage developers who want to bolster their apps’ social functionality.

The bottom line here? The landscape for apps and social sharing continues to change rapidly, while at the same time, more and more people are looking to their social networks for news and other content. Your best bet for remaining compliant as things continue to evolve is to code your emails for social sharing in addition to inbox readability.